Contact: Joe Carr at (207) 581-3571
ORONO — Two U.S. diplomats with deep knowledge of contemporary issues in the Middle East will visit the University of Maine for a Tuesday, Feb. 13 forum, “The Middle East Conundrum: Diplomacy or Military Solution?” Presented by UMaine’s new School of Policy and International Affairs and its William S. Cohen Center for International Policy and Commerce, the session is scheduled for 3-5 p.m. in UMaine’s Buchanan Alumni House.
Ambassador Marcelle M. Wahba, the State Department’s foreign policy adviser to the Air Force Chief of Staff and Ambassador and Philip C. Wilcox, Jr., president of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, will provide perspectives on current issues and potential solutions to some of the most vexing problems facing world leaders today.
“Ambassador Wahba and Ambassador Wilcox have more than five decades of combined experience in high-level diplomatic posts around the world,” says Prof. Bahman Baktiari, Director of Research and Academic Programming at the Cohen Center. “They will bring informed insights to this important discussion, which will provide an outstanding opportunity for our students and others to broaden their perspectives on the Middle East.”
Baktiari will moderate the discussion, which will follow brief introductory remarks by UMaine President Robert Kennedy.
Wahba began her government career in 1986. She has held posts in Egypt, Cyprus, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates, where she was U.S. Ambassador from 2001-2004. Wilcox retired from government service in 1997 after 31 years of service, including duty in Laos, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Israel. Wilcox’ State Department roles included service as Director of Regional Affairs in the Bureau of Middle Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Director of Arab-Israeli Affairs and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Middle Eastern Affairs. The Foundation for Middle East Peace, which Wilcox currently heads, is a Washington, D.C.-based foundation devoted to fostering peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Wahba and Wilcox will both be available for interviews Tuesday, Feb. 13, beginning at approximately 5 p.m.